INTERVIEW: Gavin DeGraw on Nashville, ‘Sweeter Live,’ Social Media

It isn’t just you. Musicians are migrating away from New York City to Los Angeles, Nashville, and other areas populated by more like-minded artists and canvassed with sunnier skies.


“New York has a lot of different industries. Even though the square-mileage is more concentrated, the industry is spread out as far as per capita goes here,” explained New York resident Gavin DeGraw.

The “Not Over You” singer bought a spot in Nashville about a year and a half ago.

“I still get my kicks here in New York.” That said, DeGraw seems to enjoy the community of peers he has found down south. “You can’t help but have anything you’re exposed to influence you,” DeGraw said of the move’s impact on his music. “I’m not sitting around consciously writing country songs. I think that a lot of times, that’s the perception with Nashville.”

Certainly there isn’t a need for DeGraw to change his music or the process behind creating it. The singer’s latest album, Sweeter, cracked the top 10 on its release; his second LP to accomplish this. Its lead single, “Not Over You,” went platinum. The album and tour cycle spawned Sweeter Live, a LP and DVD of DeGraw’s performance in Lancaster, CA this summer while on the road with Colbie Caillat.

“You get some of the banter that an artist has with the audience and some of that rapport that they develop,” notes DeGraw of the live album, which hit stores this week. “A lot of times those are my favorite elements of a show; those moments when you’re getting to relate with the audience, not just with the song, but in the stories between songs.”

That gives you a window not just in to DeGraw the performer, but DeGraw the person. Joking about holiday parties while talking about an upcoming performance for 95.5 PLJ, the singer noted social media and electronics’ hindrance on human interaction.

“We’re getting to the point where everybody is so consumed with documenting each moment that they’re in, that they’re failing to socialize properly,” he said. “We need to have sort of a forced socialization.”

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